Welcome to another Small Press Saturday this weekend we chat with Greg Anderson Elysée about his series Is’nana the Were-Spider, which has a one shot titled Showtime currently on KS available HERE
CW: Tell me about yourself.
GAE: My name is Greg Anderson Elysée. I am the writer and creator of Is’nana the Were-Spider. Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Haitian background. On top of writing, I’m also a teaching artist/educator for film and video production. A lot of my work tends to showcase aspects of Black culture, in particular mythological, folklore, and spiritual figures from various aspects of the Black diaspora. I’m very much about showcasing different groups of people who are often marginalized and not usually represented as main characters in speculative fiction.
CW: What can you tell me about Is’nana the Werespider?
GAE: Is’nana the Were-Spider is a horror fantasy, coming of age series of one-shot stories and graphic novels. It is based on the stories of Anansi the Spider of West African and Caribbean mythology. Is’nana is Anansi’s son. They two of them team up in a father and son story where they meet and interact with various figures of Black stories, many of them also villains from other realms. While trying to stop these creatures, they’re also trying not to drive each other crazy while learning to bond and grow as father and son.
CW: Tell me about the creative team.
GAE: The series has many different artists, all very talented with their own styles. The series has had artists like Walter Ostlie, Daryl Toh, Lee Milewski, Kat Aldrich, Joshua Cozine, David Brame, Walt Msonza Barna, including guest creators such as Chuck Collins, Micheline Hess, Shauna Grant, Mike Priebe, and Keef Cross. The most recent book in the series, Showtime, which is now on Kickstarter, showcases the talents of Miguel Blanco, Angael Davis-Cooper, and Deron Bennett. Miguel is an artist from NYC, which was something i was looking for, someone who can capture a lot of the essence and attitude of the city and the youth and represent it in a very honest and fun manner. Angael did an amazing job as the colorist, very bright and fruitful. She really brings out a lot of the youthful energy that Miguel put down on paper. Deron is a master of his craft with a lot of experience lettering and I’m always excited to have him on board. One of my favorite people to work with. We also have Khary Randolph of Image Comics’ Excellence providing the cover art. He’s also a New Yorker so he knew exactly the type of feel I was shooting for with this book.
CW: You’ve run several massively successful Kickstarters, what is some advice you might give someone looking to start a Kickstarter or other crowdfunded book of their own?
GAE: Try to build some interest beforehand. Get a good support group and share it around to build even just a little bit of hype. Calculate how much you actually need and calculate again and again, the costs of the books, productions, rewards you’re promising, shipping. Do not over promise and make sure you keep your backers in the loop of what’s going on. They’re your sponsors, so don’t be an asshole to them. Think of creative ways to push on social media, especially as algorithms will become your biggest enemy.
CW: Tell me about your past projects.
GAE: Is’nana the Were-Spider has been my main project. There are two volumes and a one shot from last year. I’ve also written a series called Marassa, which is currently tied up in some development hell, which is a space opera series about twin brother and sister duo who are space pirates. It mixes Black spirituality in a futurist sci-fi settling. One of my favorite things I have ever written.
CW: What is your favorite part of making comics?
GAE: My favorite part is seeing ideas that I have formulated in my head and put down on paper becoming a reality through amazing artwork. It;’s something that can make one emotional. I never tire of that feeling, that excitement of getting new pages of art in my inbox.
CW: What is your dream character or characters you want to work on?
GAE: Aside from my own characters, I’d love to maybe work on Two-Face for DC. Or Xombi for Milestone. For Marvel, I’d write the living hell out of a Brother/Doctor Voodoo book. That and Shadowman for Valiant seems right up my alley. We’ll see if any of that will ever come to fruition.
As always thanks for talking with us Greg! Thanks for reading and here’s that link one more time! KS available HERE
Small Press Saturday with Greg Anderson Elysée and Is’nana the Were-spider
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